North Shore Views
After years of reporting doom and gloom about real estate, the national press has finally pronounced the housing market to be in the midst of a full-on recovery. Increased consumer confidence and pent-up demand have driven home sales up with price appreciation following suit.
But most of what we read is about national averages, and since all real estate is local, the only relevant data for us as homeowners is the data for the market where we live and own real estate.
So here’s a table showing how the North Shore compared with the nation as a whole, the state of Illinois and the Chicago PMSA*. Home sales are up strongly across all areas, though the North Shore’s growth is somewhat more modest than that of the state or the Chicago PMSA. Where the North Shore really diverges from the broader market is in price appreciation. Whereas prices nationwide were up 6.3% in 2012, the North Shore’s prices were down 6%.
2012 Real Estate Trends Comparison
The cause of this disparity probably goes to the fact that the segments of the market which recovered first were at the low end of the price continuum. First-time buyers who are buying at the low end and are not saddled with a home to sell represented a larger portion of real estate transactions than in the past. The North Shore is generally not a first-time buyer market due to its higher home prices. The North Shore’s median sales price is $430,000, more than twice the national median price of $176,000. So, we should expect it to lag the rest of the state and the nation.
That said, prices do seem to have bottomed out on the North Shore and are starting to recover, and we are expecting healthy sales and modest price gains of around 3% by the end of 2013.
*Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area